A jibarito made with grilled chicken
|Plantains, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes|
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The jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-ree-to), a specialty of Chicago, is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The original jibarito had a steak filling, and that remains the usual variety, but other ingredients, such as chicken and pork, are common.
Chicago restaurateur Juan "Peter" Figueroa introduced the jibarito at Borinquen Restaurant, a Puerto Rican restaurant in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, in 1996, after reading about a Puerto Rican sandwich substituting plantains for bread. The name is a diminutive of Jíbaro and means "little yokel".
The sandwich's popularity soon spread to other Latin-American restaurants around Chicago, including Mexican, Cuban and Argentinian establishments, and jibaritos now can be found in some mainstream eateries as well.
Other Latin American sandwiches served on fried plantains predate the jibarito. They include a Colombian cuisine specialty called a patacones and a 1991 invention by Jorge Muñoz and Coquí Feliciano served at their restaurant, Plátano Loco, in Aguada, Puerto Rico.
- Saga of a sandwich. Chicago Tribune, June 18, 2003.
- Zeldes, Leah A. "City of the Big Sandwiches: Four Uncommon Chicago Meals on a Bun". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant Guide. Retrieved Sept. 23, 2013.
- First look at Graham Elliot's Grahamwich. Chicago Tribune, December 15, 2010: "And it was damn near impossible with the jibarito; thin-sliced fried plantains were never intended to endure such treatment."
- Plantano Loco